By: Jordan Poltorak
DAVIS, CA-–On October 13, swastikas were drawn in Alder Hall and were swiftly removed by the UC Davis Police Department, the third antisemitism event on campus since August.
The article also mentioned one of these incidents, where banners with antisemitism messages were hung on a bicycle overpass.
This uptick in antisemitism has some students on edge. Second-year Leah Stark says, “I no longer believe that all Jewish students feel safe on our campus, or many college campuses in California.”
Many students became aware of this incident from social media posts. First-year Amanda Pochter feels “the information about the incident should have been more widespread.”
Notably, Chancellor Gary S. May gave a statement addressing the issue which was uploaded to the UC Davis website. The Sacramento Bee has also issued parts of his statement, including remarks concerning an increase of antisemitic incidents on California campuses.
According to a Sep. 6 article by the Jewish News of Northern California, there were two antisemitism incidents a couple of days apart at the California State Universities of Sacramento and San Francisco.
That article was linked in a statement by UC President Drake, addressing and condemning the antisemitism. Chancellor May has also acknowledged that “messages of condemnation are not enough” and has invited “the campus community to learn more” on the Addressing Antisemitism webpage.
In response, Stark said, “It helps to know that May stands with his Jewish students in solidarity against hate.”
Following the situation, UC Davis offered students time to meet with professionals about how they feel and how it has affected them. Pochter feels more should be done to “provide resources and educate students.” From May’s statement, campus leaders met with Jewish students to discuss how best to support them, weeks prior to the incident.
The statement continued, “We have ongoing collaborative discussions with the Hillel at Davis and Sacramento executive director and staff. And our UC Davis Advisory Council on Jewish Life is working with me and others to identify more actions we can take to address antisemitism and provide support.”
This incident was upsetting to many students and especially worrying for Jewish students. Stark encourages small actions such as “offering to walk a friend back to their bike or car so they are not alone” to be helpful.